Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grumpy's: Where Real Men Go For Grub

The Griller Instinct team has a lot of footage coming from Thanksgiving, so to do it justice, we're going to take our time to properly organize and edit it. But since I won't leave you hanging for a whole week, I wanted to bring you along on my own Black Friday tradition that my friends and I have been participating in for quite some time now, and that's our annual trip to Pennsylvania to shoot sporting clays.

A few hours of shooting always works up an appetite and on our way home, we found a great BBQ joint called Grumpy's.  There's not much out there in the Poconos, so to find anywhere decent to eat is a score.  Likewise, as I won our shooting contest, I had earned a free lunch and I wanted to make sure my victory meal tasted as delicious as my friends' defeat (and Grumpy's proved to be the right place for that).

I tried their three sliders:  brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken. I also ordered a single rib. I know that sounds crazy, but they will serve you a single.  I knew I was coming home to   Thanksgiving leftovers, so I thought one to taste made good sense.

Using my completely arbitrary rating system, I would give the brisket slider a "B," the pulled pork slider an "A-," the chicken slider a "C," the rib an "A-." Here's the breakdown:

Brisket - Smokey, and great flavor from the rub, but very fatty.

Pulled Pork - Great texture, but could use some spice.

Chicken - Who likes pulled chicken?  Not me.

Rib -  It had a good smoke ring and was was cooked just right.  Not mushy but not tough.  This was also a full size spare rib, and I know how hard it is to get full size spare rib right, so I very much appreciated the effort.

Check out the pictures:
The smoker
Smoking Wood

Me, Shooting

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hungry Man Lunch

I'll be traveling this weekend, so I won’t have time to concoct anything new, but I plan on picking up some great tailgating tips that will surely come in handy down the line..

That said, I couldn’t leave you without something to sink your teeth into, so I took some video of my colleague, Greg (think Wimpy but rail thin), eating lunch.  This guy is always on the lookout for a good burger, and, well, the footage speaks for itself.

Important: Obviously we are going to have a lot of Thanksgiving footage.  Here is what you can expect over the next few weeks:

- Fried Turkey
- Smoked Turkey
- Cranberry Salsa
- Yummy Brussels Sprouts (oh, yes they can be)

Here is Greg.  Check out this burger.  It was huge.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Are You, Chicken? Wings

There's a common belief that chicken wings are bar food, meant only to be served by ill-mannered waitresses, ordered by the dozen, to be eaten with a side of another dozen chicken wings and a few pitchers of beer.

And while I'm not one to buck a good tradtion like enjoying $.50 wings while watching your favorite team at the local bar, a great chicken wings recipe is a must-have in your football season rotation, so if you don't have one already, you're now in luck!

Here's why homemade (and especially my homemade) wings are superior to to the bar fare you thought you've liked: wings in a bar are fried and tossed with a mixture of hot sauce and butter.  The white dipping sauce on the side is usually ranch or blue cheese salad dressing. Not bad, just very generic, and if you know me, we can do a whole lot better than that.

This recipe is makes great wings, and without being too modest, they might be the best you've ever had.  If you love wings like I do, try it. I generally serve the wings as a full meal and that's it, but if you're planning to make them as an appetizer, adjust your portions according. 

My chicken wings are a four part process: 

1. Season the wings. 
2. Smoke the wings for 10-15 minutes using indirect heat.  As you already know, chicken absorbs smoke very easily. 
3. Fry the wings. Peanut oil works best.
4. Toss the wings in your sauce.

I like to cut my wing sauce with honey and butter, as the honey gives the sauce a little hint of sweetness while allowing it to really hang onto the wing.

Then, just before my wings are ready to be served, I up the ante and make a fresh blue cheese dipping sauce.

 The recipes for my wings and dipping sauce can be found here.

Check out the video:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grilled Pumpkin Seeds

To get in the spirit of Halloween, the kids wanted to carve the Jack-o-Lantern Sunday afternoon and I realized this would be a great opportunity try and make pumpkin seeds on the grill. 

We popped off the pumpkin top and scooped out the seeds.  Fortunately for me, I happen to have a grill basket with a lid that not only is perfect for rinsing the seeds, but also perfect for grilling them.  One less step!

I realize not everyone has a grill basket, which is unfortunate for them, and I will supply alternative instructions in case you do not have one.

  1. Cut off the pumpkin top. 
  2. Scoop out the seeds (I find putting the kids to work especially helpful for this part of the recipe).
  3. Clean, separate, and rinse the seeds, making sure to remove the "dead," or flat, seeds since you're not going to want to eat those.
  4. If you have grill basket, just put it on the grill and shake every 30 seconds or so.  The whole process will take about 10 minutes. Don’t let the seeds burn.  When they start to turn brown, they are done. 
  5. Remove from the grill and dump into a pan and add your seasoning while they are still hot.  I used sea salt and some Cajun seasoning, which was great.  Be creative; come up with your own flavor scheme.
No grill basket?  Use a skillet with a lid or cover the top with aluminum foil.  Remember to keep tossing the seeds every 30 seconds and start peeking inside at about the 8 minute mark to see if the seeds are ready.

No grill?  Here is how to do it in the oven:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut off the pumpkin top. 
  3. Scoop out the seeds.
  4. Clean, separate, and rinse the seeds, making sure to remove the "dead," or flat, seeds since you're not going to want to eat those.
  5. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and spread your pumpkin seeds in an even layer.
  6. Add seasoning your seasoning of choice, and sprinkle liberally.
  7. Place in the oven and after 5 minutes, remove and mix the seeds around with a spatula to keep them from sticking to the aluminum foil.  Check in every three minutes or so from that point to make sure they don't burn. (*If you hear a little sizzle or pop, don't worry, that's normal: it's just water leaving the seeds)
  8. To put a final brown on your seeds, you can turn the oven to Broil for one minute.
  9. Remove, and enjoy!
Check out the video: